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Vodafone Attract Most UK Broadband ISP Complaints in Q3 2020

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021 (10:45 am) - Score 2,544
complaints ofcom report isp broadband tv phone mobile

Ofcom’s latest Q3 2020 consumer complaints report has just been published, which names UK ISP Vodafone as attracting the most gripes for home broadband, while Plusnet did the same for landline phone, Virgin Mobile were the worst for Mobile services and Virgin Media came bottom for Pay TV.

The following report only covers complaints that the regulator itself has received and not those sent directly to either an ISP, ISPA or ADR complaints handler (i.e. Ombudsman Services or CISAS). Ofcom does not deal with individual complaints, but they do monitor them and can take action if enough people raise a concern.

NOTE: Ofcom received c.84,000 calls and items of correspondence directly from consumers in 2019/20 (down from 96,000 in 2018/19).

Overall, the total volume of complaints across all service sectors increased during Q3 2020, which Ofcom puts down to the improvement in call centre capacity as the initial COVID-19 lockdown ended (i.e. people could complain more easily) . Meanwhile the overall level of consumer satisfaction with communications services is listed as 85% for landline phone, 85% for broadband and 93% for mobile.

Otherwise, the results below reflect a proportion of residential subscribers (i.e. the total number of quarterly complaints per 100,000 customers per provider), which makes it easier to compare providers in a market where ISPs can vary significantly in size. The regulator’s study only covers feedback from the largest ISPs – those with a market share of at least 1.5% – due to limited data.

We should add that Ofcom also tracked 46 complaints about BT’s provision of the broadband USO during the quarter (down from 53 last quarter), although the separate nature of this service and its early deployment phase means that the regulator does not yet include this figure into their totals below.

Fixed Line Home Broadband Complaints

Overall Vodafone, after briefly being overtaken by TalkTalk in the previous quarter, once again attracted the most complaints for fixed broadband connectivity and most of those were about faults, service and provisioning issues (50%). The other main drivers of Vodafone’s gripes were complaints handling (20%) and changing provider (15%). By comparison Sky Broadband and EE deserve praise for having the lowest proportion of complaints.


Fixed Line Phone Complaints

Plusnet attracted the most complaints for landline phone services and most of those were about faults, service and provisioning issues (42%). The other main drivers of Plusnet’s complaints were complaints handling (24%) and issues relating to billing, pricing and charges (18%). By comparison Sky Broadband and EE did well to attract the fewest complaints.


Mobile Complaints

Sadly, Virgin Mobile was at the top of this quarter’s naughty pile for Pay Monthly Mobile plans – their main complaints drivers stemmed from changing provider (32%), complaints handling (31%) and issues relating to billing, pricing and charges (15%). Meanwhile Tesco Mobile continued to attract the fewest gripes of any listed operator.


Pay TV Complaints

Virgin Media was the most complained about pay TV provider in the UK, with most of the gripes against them being related to complaints handling (40%). The other main drivers were issues relating to billing, pricing and charges (24%) and faults, service and provisioning issues (20%). Meanwhile Sky TV continued to attract the fewest moans.


Ofcom’s Consumer Complaints Report Q3 2020

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
15 Responses
  1. TalkTalk Sucks says:

    These will be the same companies who go on to win Uswitch awards for great this or that!

    1. Aqx says:

      They’re major players & have large customer bases, these complaints don’t reflect all of their customers and in the grand scheme of things only a small number.
      Even then, uSwitch awards mean nothing these days as they’re passed out like candy during Halloween.

  2. TrueFibre says:

    As a Vodafone Customer great service and great value but poor customer service

  3. Kieron says:

    I personally haven’t had any trouble at all with my Vodafone Fixed line and Mobile. Its great!

  4. A says:

    Vodafone Broadband is still growing at a fast pace compared to the overall customer base and as most of Vodafone’s faults seem to be provisioning issues (probably Openreach’s fault), that probably explains the high number of complaints.

  5. dave says:

    One of my lines is with Vodafone and the other with BT.

    The Vodafone line has a slightly faster sync and speed test result than the BT line but the BT line is better overall. It doesn’t suffer from Netflix buffering/degradation like the Vodafone one does. Not only that but although Vodafone claim not to throttle any services but they DO clearly throttle L2TP to 13Mbps per second, for some reason. By comparison, I get almost the full possible speed via the BT line, using the same L2TP endpoint & equipment.

    1. Kams says:

      They absolutely do that on their mobile Internet as well. Ditto with Netflix and BBC iplayer streaming.

  6. TrueFibre says:

    I think what people forget is it parity depends on your DNS. Like for example Vodafone’s own DNS is rubbish that why I use Google’s Public DNS. By Using Google’s DNS it enables you to use your Internet connection to its full potential. You can use any DNS you like

    1. Spurple says:

      Your comment is wrong on so many levels.

    2. TrueFibre says:

      Nothing wrong that’s my opinion respect. I think know my own Internet connection I used to work IT. I pet you don’t even how to Diskpart

    3. Oh dear says:

      Hey guys connect to my DNS and you will get 100 gigabit internet

    4. Spurple says:

      Google DNS is fine, but it will not change your Internet performance in any noticeable way. People use it usually to avoid ISP servers that hijack nonexistent domains to serve search pages with ads in them.

      TrueFibre is entitled to their opinion, but the opinion suggests they lack understanding of the technology.

  7. TrueFibre says:

    Nothing wrong that’s my opinion respect. I think I know my own Internet connection I used to work in IT. I bet you don’t even know how to use Diskpart

  8. TrueFibre says:

    There are 3 good things About Vodafone 1 great value for money 2 No line rental and 3 good Internet speed. And 3 depends on the DNS Server being used and also how far you are from your exchange or green cabinet. Because FTTC uses old copper for last part from the green cabinet to your house. But the only problem is the lack of knowledge by customer support. At the end of the day your never going to get a ISP that everyone happy.

    1. TrueFibre says:

      Sorry for the spelling I mean Your never going a ISP that makes everybody happy

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